You know what’s strange?
By the time Zack Morris and A.C. Slater graduated Bayside High School, they were *best* friends. They were so tight that despite Slater having a wrestling scholarship offer from Iowa and Zack a 1502 score on the SAT, both decided to head to Cal U and be roomies. Riiiight.
Isn’t this exceptionally weird? If you invested any kind of thought into Saved By the Bell, this should have seemed bizarre. But it wasn’t. It’s kind of like one of those experiments where everyone around you gives the wrong answer and you start to second-guess yourself. But deep down, in the innermost recesses of your gut instinct, you KNOW you are right. That rightness is just obscured by what no one else will admit.
If you remember their relational genesis at all, you know that this kind of social evolution is almost impossible. PARTICULARLY, in high school. Let me explain: I think we all understand that women are inherently dramatic. It’s coded into their DNA just as thoroughly as Outback’s Cheese Fries are encoded into the tastebuds of humanity’s genome.* It’s just how women are made.
Along these lines, this inherent drama often stirs up great consternation and raised tempers.
Think of it like this: Girls are like Quiznos. When dining at the Quiz, sandwiches slide under their oven and the heat is evenly distributed throughout until, boom, your sandwich is ready for consumption.
With girls, it’s the same. A fellow female could roll her eyes at another or attempt murder with a curling iron and toothbrush and the intensity of the situation would be exactly the same for both. There is no sliding scale or wrongness. Any wrong is evenly wrong.
With guys though, it’s a little different. We’re more like cooking a biscuit with a flamethrower. We don’t really rev up about much, but when we do, it’s like Ron Artest in Detroit or Britney Spears after shaving her head. And 99.99% of the time, this white hot rage is ignited by women.
So understanding this, the Slater / Zack friendship becomes THAT MUCH MORE unrealistic. These two waged a bloody, backstabbing war over Kelly Kapowski. It was so bloody that neither ended up getting her because it was a campaign of scorched earth war-faring that ended up with great social ramifications for both.
Sure Zack, briefly did win Kelly, but he just as quickly lost her to Jeff, the OBNOXIOUSLY good looking college guy. This would be like World War II ending and Canada becoming the indisputable world power.
But yet, after their pyrrhic war ended, we’re supposed to believe that for senior year, they’re suddenly best friends?
NOPE. I won’t allow it. Here’s why:
Not one day into their senior year, they get in another fight over a butchy biker chick named Tory and it ends with Slater getting punch poured into his stretchy pants and Belding’s toupee flying off.
Shenanigans aside, this CLEARLY points towards two subconscious and simmering reasons why their friendship could never be realized in earnest.
1) The Alpha Dog issue.
Slater and Zack are both Alpha Dogs. You know what Alpha Dogs don’t do? Make nice with other Alpha Dogs. They are more interested in pulling an Ivan Drago and BREAKING the other Alpha Dogs so that they seem that much more Alpha-ier. This is why Simon always looked at all the other idol judges with such disdain and why Dwight Schrute runs Dunder Mifflin.
2) The Girl Competition
Alluding to a previous point, NOTHING burns brighter than the hatred generated by a girl rivalry. NOTHING. For a guy, once you’ve locked horns on that level, the feeling lasts into eternity and past eternity into infinite eternity. So yeah, it’s a serious thing.
I was talking with a friend recently about a guy his now-wife was formerly involved with. The entanglement occurred almost 9 years ago and his wife never really even went out with the guy. And my friend STILL hopes that the guy ends up like Lt. Dan.
The only exception in all of this involves Jack, Sawyer, and Kate from LOST. Jack and Sawyer came to an uneasy truce ONLY because of time travel, the Smoke Monster, and Hurley.
If, on the Saved By The Bell DVD, we learn that there were deleted scenes involving time travel, smoke monsters and Jorge Garcia, I’ll reconsider Slater and Zack’s friendship. Otherwise…I will NOT.
What else about the Slater and Zack relationship strikes you as strange?